THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Eyeing the Guinness Book honour for the oldest living Asian elephant in captivity, 86-year-old Chenkalloor Dakshayani, would soon get a chain-free spacious enclosure.
Travancore Devaswom Board, custodian of the 86-year-old the granny elephant, is preparing a scientific plan to protect her. An application by the TDB for Dakshayani’s entry is being processed by the Guinness Book of World Records. Recently, a Japanese NGO had approached the board, offering financial assistance for the maintenance of the ageing pachyderm, who keeps good health except for poor vision. TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said the board is planning to set up a leafy shelter for Dakshayani who came under board’s possession when she was five.
“It is our responsibility to ensure a happy and healthy old age for Dakshayani. We will accept the fund offered by the Japanese NGO only if we cannot find an Indian sponsor,” he said.
Prayar said the board is in the process of selecting a suitable place to rehabilitate Dakshayani. “At least three temples in the capital have more than one acre of vacant land. The property with maximum greenery would be selected and fenced. A tank would be set up for the animal to cool herself,” he explained.
Dr T Rajeev, the veterinarian who has been monitoring Dakshayani’s health for the past six years, said the animal has been maintaining good health. A recent health check-up showed that her blood values, kidney and liver functions were normal. According to Rajeev, Dakshayani is an adorable beast. “She always keeps herself cool. But if she has a dislike for something she cannot be subdued,” he added.
TDB records say that Dakshayani was donated to the Thiruvarattu Kavu at Attingal by the Travancore royal family when she was five. The royal family bought the calf from the Kodanad elephant camp near Ernakulam. She was shifted to the Chenkalloor around 50 years ago.